We visited Antigua the first week of July 2012 and decided to book this tour from a vendor working Jolly Beach. Booking was simple, a phone call, some cash, and a receipt along with a time to meet Glen in Jolly Harbour the next day.
One note, the large boat normally used for this tour was out of the water for scheduled maintenance the week we were there (as were many of the dive boats...its what happens in low season, no big deal to us) so we were informed while booking the tour that we would be on a smaller runabout type boat approx 30'. No big deal.
We showed up at the dock at the appointed time and Glen and his first mate were already there as were the other 6 guests that would be accompanying us on our trip. We were briefed about where we were going and what we would do. Due to the smaller boat we were informed that if the seas were to rough we would go to Prickley Pear Island instead of Bird Island. But we would make that decision as a group when we saw how the seas were in that area.
The ride over was great, Glen did a great job of showing us all the sights along the way and on the west side of the island the waters were calm and we made great time. The waters on the north and east sides of the island were pretty rough due to a brisk wind. We made our way through the rougher seas heading to Bird Island and it was decided that it was rougher than some liked so we would just go to Prickley Pear Island.
Soon we arrived at Prickely Pear Island and made our way onto the beach which was very small but very nice. There is a covered area with picinic benches and grills for cooking so Glen got the lobster going on the grill while his first mate took some of the group on a guided snorkeling tour.
The snorkeling was just marginal in my opinion with a max depth of about 6 ft and mostly elkhorn coral. But I did find a nice school of squid/cuddle fish that allowed me to get some great closeup shots with my camera, so it was a fruitful venture.
After snorkeling and just playing around in the turquoise waters lunch was served. The lobster was awesome. I have had my share of caribbean lobster and new what to expect but for some reason this was the best I've had and I think it was better than most of the Atlantic Maine lobster I've has as well. My wife agreed that Glen did a great job of cooking it and she still raves about how good it was. Along with the lobster there was salad, potato salad, and pasta salad. All of these were delicious as well. We were very satisified with the meal it exceeded our expectations. Did I mention the lobster was awesome?
After luch was done we snorkeled on our own again for awhile and just enjoyed the beauty of this little slice of heaven called Prickely Pear Island. My B-I-L and I ventured up to the top of the rocks to find a large amount of seagulls. Quite a site and we wondered if we would get back down the hill without getting bombed if you know what I mean. Fortunately we managed to avoid that and proceeded back to the beach without incident. It was cool seeing all of the birds up there in their element even though I typically despise seagulls.
After a bit Glen announced it was time to move on to see some starfish. We headed abit further south and Glen showed us the lavish homes on Long Island and then dropped achor at Maiden Island to see the starfish. And see starfish we did. They were everywhere on the in the shallows of a very white sandy bottom. I've only seen more at Waterlemon beach on St John in the USVI. After about a half hour of starfish heaven we weighed anchor and started the journey back.
Glen pointed out some more sites along the way and before we knew it we were entering Jolly harbour. We were sad that the day was coming to an end but knew we had just experienced a day that we would remember for a long time to come.
Mike in Tulsa
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